BECHTELSVILLE, PA It took six years for 22-year-old Mike Laise to get to victory lane at Grandview Speedway and he savored every minute of it on Saturday night as he celebrated his win in the 30-lap Mavericks Motorcycle Club NASCAR 358 Modified feature race. And he even made sure his two-year-old daughter Brooke was there with him for all the victory lane photos. Victory lane is nothing new for Danny Snyder but he still enjoyed celebrating his win in the 20-lap NASCAR Late Model feature, his second win of the season. Mike Laise was a man on a mission as he charged out in front of the 28-car 358 Modified starting field from his second place starting position. A caution came out on the second circuit as the previous week’s feature winner Kevin Hirthler bounced off the fourth turn wall and headed for the pits with a flat right front tire.
On the restart Laise again took command and another caution came out for a multi-car accident between turns three and four that included six time champion Craig VonDohren, Kevin Albert, John Willman and Brad Grim. Laise put his Michael Smith Painting/ Reid Auto and Truck Repair No. 15 back in front on the restart and was kept busy holding off challenges from Addison Addison Meitzler and Jarrad Miller. With the crossed flags being shown by starter Ray Kemp Laise continued to lead with Miller applying pressure.
The balance of the 30-lap feature was all about Mike Laise as the Pottstown racer was able to easily win and pick up the $2,500 first place money. In fact Laise had such a healthy lead that when point leader Duane Howard passed Nate Christman for second spot he actually thought he was taking the lead and was ready to go to victory lane. Howard had been busy working his way through the field after starting in 17th spot. Second spot went to Howard (Oley) who continues to lead the point battle in the chase for the lucrative NASCAR 358 Modified point title. Third place was earned by Nate Christman (Oley) followed by eight time champion Jeff Strunk (Bechtelsville) coming from 16th starting position. Jarrod Miller (Barto) managed to grab a fifth place finish.
“It feels good (to be in victory lane),” said Laise has he carried his daughter and was surrounded by dozens of members of the Mavericks Motorcycle Club who use their sponsorship of the night as a fund raiser for the Alex’s Lemonade Stand charity. “It has really been up and down for me. Without my parents continued support I just would not have been able to do it.”
In the 20-lapper for the Late Models rookie racer Steve Butler took charge of the 18 car starting field at the drop of the green and set the pace for a half-dozen laps before veteran Danny Snyder was able to take command on the seventh circuit of the one-third-mile, banked clay oval. At 11 laps Kory Fleming lost a wheel and spun in the second turn bringing out one of the few cautions in the event.
On the restart Snyder had current Late Model point leader Chuck Schutz to deal with and then in the closing laps Mike Kellner applied pressure.
At the finish it was Danny Snyder (Green Lane) bringing the 3 Starz Landscaping/Rhoades Livestock Hauling No. 4s to victory lane. Kellner (Lansdale) held on to the number two finishing position. Chuck Schutz (Pottstown) held on to his Late Model point race lead after finishing third.
Ron Kline (Salford) was coming on strong in the closing laps to finish fourth and veteran Rick Todorow (Quakertown) finished fifth.
In victory lane Snyder thanked his sponsors and crew for their support as he celebrated his second win of the season. Snyder is currently second in the chase for the point title.
Qualifying heat races for the Late Models went to T.J. Mayberry and Mike Kellner. Danny Snyder had crossed the finish line first in the first qualifier but was set back two spots due to a rule infraction.
Victories in the 12 lap qualifying heats for NASCAR 358 Modifieds went to Kyle Follweiler, Addison Meitzler, Jarrad Miller and Mike Gular. Two 10-lap consolation races were won by Meme DeSantis and Terry Meitzler.
The Cargo Trailer Sales gift certificates went to 10th place feature finishers John Giesler in the Late Models and Doug Manmiller in the 358 Modified feature.
The Dan’s Deli Halfway Leader awards in each feature were presented to Danny Snyder in the Late Model feature and Mike Laise for leading at the halfway mark of the 358 Modified feature. The Salvage Transport Late Model Hard Charger award was earned by Ron Kline gaining eight spots in the feature while Mike Kramer/Sponsors of Bobby Gunther Walsh Modified Hard Charger Award went to Duane Howard who gained 15 positions in the feature.
Christman’s Meat Market gave their $30 weekly pit pass award to Rick Todorow.
A collection through the grandstands by a number of late model and modified racers raised close to $900 for late model racer Greg Hoffmaster who was injured in a motorcycle accident. He will be out of racing for the balance of the season.
NASCAR 358 Modifieds and Late Models are featured in a doubleheader show sponsored by WNPV-1440AM Radio on Saturday, July 16th at 7:30 p.m.
TWO SPECIAL EVENTS coming up in the near future include the Pepsi/Bashore Trucking Challenge that will pay $1500 to the winner on July 30th. The top 11 modified point racers on hand for the event will go one to one until there is just one left (the winner).
And on Saturday, August 6th the Vince’s Towing Old Timers race will be presented for old time owners. Competitors must be over 50 years of age. The race will pay $300 to win and be a 15-lap event. Call Vince Gagliardo Jr. at 484.256.1000. Grandview Speedway, a NASCAR sanctioned one-third-mile, banked clay track, is located at 43 Passmore Road, Bechtelsville, PA, just off Route 100, 10 miles north of Pottstown.
For race information telephone 610.754.7688 or check in at www.grandviewspeedway.com. For marketing information telephone Ernie Saxton at 215.752.7797 or email Esaxton144@aol.com